Monday, 6 July 2015

Guitar pedals for lead guitar - a short overview and guide

This was originally done for a friend who's an incredible guitarist but only recently getting into using guitar pedals... All this is a guide and opinion only. As of July 2015. Hope it helps :)

Common pedals for ‘lead’ worship are…

- Guitar tuner. Get a decent one.

- A Compressor (if you want one, good for clean tones, picking etc). Often used without overdrive but can make overdrives sustain and cut through more.

- Transparent overdrive. This is one that doesn’t colour the sound but allows you to play dynamically. Amp-like overdrive.

- A kind of mid-range boost heavier overdrive (Tubescreamer type pedal). Or get a distortion pedal.

- Volume pedal (for volume swells)

- Wah pedal (some people use, some don’t but you’ll use loads!)

- Some people may put in other effects like tremolo, chorus, phaser etc here.

- A delay pedal. Preferably one that has tap tempo built in / can add external tap pedal. And pref one that does dotted eighth delay.

- A reverb pedal. Pref one that goes as ‘wet’ as possible (wet means you hear the ‘reverb’ more than the original sound) and one with varied reverbs.

The basics would be

Tuner, Overdrive, Delay, Reverb. This is for ‘contemporary’ worship sounds.

Pedal Suggestions…

TUNER - Boss TU3  /  Korg Pitchblack  /  TC Electronic Polytune

COMPRESSOR - I have the Fender Micro Compressor. The best is the Robert Keeley Compressor Pedal.

TRANSPARENT OVERDRIVE - The Visual Sound Open Road is amazing if you can find one (Visual Sound have rebranded to Truetone). Or maybe a Blues Drive from Boss, the BD2.

TUBESCREAMER OVERDRIVE - so many to choose from… But try Fulltone OCD / Fulltone Fulldrive / Ibanez TS9 / Ibanez TS808 / Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive.

Alternatively, try things like the Boss SD1 / Boss OS2 / Boss OD3.

VOLUME PEDAL  - Jim Dunlop Volume X or get the older one (high gain one which is cheaper).

DELAY PEDAL - The top of the range one we’d all love to have is the Line6 DL4 which is an absolute beast !  Or NovaDelay from TC Electronic. Or Boss DD6 or DD7.

REVERB PEDAL -  Boss RV5  /  Hardwire RV7  /  TC Electronic Hall Of Fame (HOF).

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